I see you in the morning

your face still tender from sleep

your eyes still a part of 

that other, inner world

I can never follow you to.


You always wake before I do.

You shuffle to the light

of the kitchen

and scratch your beard.

You have been growing it long

these days

and I have been cutting my hair.


Our bodies touch in small ways

as we begin the day

because we need our own bodies first

to steady ourselves

for the tasks ahead.


Until one of us must leave

the house

then we circle each other

with strong arms

draw nets of protection

around each other's dear souls.


I have tremendous love for you.

I first felt it growing 

all along my collarbone

one afternoon

years ago and I was

surprised by how it felt

or that I was given a chance

to feel it.


It was the strangest sensation-

warm, alive, its own force.

Like water rising along my skin.

There was never a fear of drowning

just a strong desire to learn 

how to swim.


And I know now that love 

is a luxury

and that the country of this love

has changed me.


I was just a foreigner before

never really knowing

how to speak

or how to be understood.

Fumbling with my words

clutching at maps

getting lost.


It was only when 

I let all of that go-

the striving

the need to be

held, to be understood

to be half of something

that I became who I am.


And there you were

and here you are

preparing the early coffee

all the morning birds